Whenever a high profile crime makes the news, the first impulse of any self-respecting lawmaker is to, well, make a law. When your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail. So even if something’s already against the law, why not make it even illegaler? Sure, the new law may do absolutely no good at all in real terms, but at least someone will have done something. Right? What better way to show your constituents that you’re on the job. But what if there was a law that could be enacted that would actually save lives? Well, no. We can’t do that…

Especially not if it means allowing law-abiding people to carry a gun and defend themselves, that is. But as a prominent gay conservative found out, even a pretend gun can save you from a severe beating. Or worse.

Jimmy LaSalvia is executive director of GOProud, the gay conservative group based in Washington. He was riding his bicycle home recently when he was attacked by a group of thugs.

The situation could have gone either way: I could end up beaten or dead, or we could all go our separate ways.

All I could think to do was to get to my backpack and find my phone. As I fumbled for the phone, I heard one of them say, “Does he have a gun?”

So I kept my hand in my backpack, allowing them to wonder whether I was reaching for a gun. Then a couple of them started to run away, and the others soon followed. I got back on my bike and pedaled as fast as I could out of there.

All the hate crime legislation in the world didn’t help LaSalvia one bit. Everything hate crime laws supposedly address is covered by other statutes already on the books. It’s currently illegal to assault a passing cyclist. And even in DC, it’s probably also against the law to beat him to death, too. No matter what his sexual orientation may be.

None of them said, “There’s a law against antigay hate crimes!” That wasn’t the deterrent. It was the possibility that I might have had a gun that saved my life Friday night.

LaSalvia was lucky. A pretend gun was enough to scare off the street scum. That time. But if one of them had pulled a real gun, pointing his empty thumb and forefinger back at them in response probably wouldn’t have done him much good.

LaSalvia’s real problem was that it happened in DC. Where not only is concealed carry illegal, it’s impossible, for now, to buy handgun legally. But that’s OK. I’m sure city government will come up with a new double secret probation-type hate crime law that will protect him next time.

58 Responses to Even An Imaginary Gun Can Save Your Life

    • Yeah, because surrendering the streets to the criminal element has always worked out so well in the past.

    • You call yourself a ‘Progressive’? If word gets out that you’ve recommended a car over a bicycle, they’re gonna tear up your EarthFirst! membership card.

      Seriously, has it come to the point where we have to hide from the bad guys and change our lives to the point where we are afraid to ride a bike, rather than putting the criminals on the defensive? Sheesh…

      • Seriously, has it come to the point where we have to hide from the bad guys and change our lives to the point where we are afraid to [insert activity here], rather than putting the criminals on the defensive?

        According to the goons at TSA it has.

        Sorry Brad, it was just too compelling to pass up.

    • Bikes are great. In a civil society you should be able to drive a unicycle to work without getting jumped, if that is your choice. Don’t surrender to punks or bigots.

      -D

      • I haven’t driven more than about four times in the last two months. I go everywhere by bicycle. Look, ma, I’m getting fitter and saving the planet!

        Do I carry on the bike? You bet your ass I do.

      • I was a bicycle commuter for 7 years, putting about 10 miles daily on my bike. I wish I could still ride. My knees have had it, though. Now I have a motorized bike to ride… a 1982 Yamaha xj550 Maxim. Schweeet.

    • I made my statement from a purely self defensive point of view. As far as I know the assailants were not pushing anti-gay biking bills through Washington requiring him to surrender his civil liberties. I was suggesting through deadpan dry humor that it would be safer for him to drive because he would be protected (granted minimally) from random sneak attacks. As quoted by another poster he was attacked and knocked off of his bicycle before he realized he was in a fight. I am suggesting that it would be harder to be attacked while in a 2,000lb car traveling at roadway speeds than on a bike.

      • It’s not that we didn’t understand you… we absolutely did understand you. Our counterpoint is that rather than drastically change our own behavior in order to accomodate violent thugs perhaps it would be better to make the thugs feel less secure in plying their trade.

        • I agree, however to create an enviroment in which the thugs feel less secure it also requires the participant to drastically alter his lifestyle by carying a real firearm. I agree that he should carry, but to protect himself to a more reasonable degree driving would have prevented the situation entirely.

        • Maybe, but it sounds like even a little bit of situational awareness would’ve gone a long way in this scenario.

        • “I agree, however to create an enviroment in which the thugs feel less secure it also requires the participant to drastically alter his lifestyle by carying a real firearm. ”

          You’re mistaken. When “shall issue” laws are passed everyone benefits. The people who want to carry concealed are empowered to, and since they want to do it it’s not an imposition. The people who don’t want to carry (typically 97% or more of the population) benefit from the uncertainty factor. The criminal element suddenly has to wonder if that would-be victim may be armed, and confrontational crime tends to drop because of that.

          That’s not idle speculation, that’s data. Check the violent crime rates pre-and post- concealed carry wherever it’s been enacted.

          I’m of course not saying that violent crime ceases to exist when CCW laws are passed, but the sort of random assaults that require a certainly unarmed victim do diminish.

  1. Why did you assume that they were going to attack he was gay?
    Trying for some progressive points? Sounds like they were short of cash and were equal opportunity thugs. The thugs rule the streets of DC even in high income areas in Nortwest.

    • From the linked article:

      Just as I got up to them, the assailant lunged off the sidewalk toward me and delivered a punch across my chest. The momentum of my bicycling drove me into his fist and arm, causing a shocking pain like I’ve never felt before. Just as I began to realize what was happening, I heard it. The words are still ringing in my ears as I write this — “Fucking faggot!”

      • I wonder how they knew he was gay, it is possible they could have used that term simply as a general profanity. Could be that they knew where he was coming from, or had seen his picture in connection with GOProud somewhere.

        Either way it doesn’t matter to me, he was violently attacked without an effective means to defend himself. They better get CCW in DC or I’ll continue to refuse to go there and spend any money there, even though I live 30 minutes away (Not that they care).

        • I’ve been called a “fucking faggot” for simply riding a bicycle several far lesser “crimes against culture”…

          -D

        • Well yeah, but that wasn’t my point. You can call someone a f*ggot without knowing or even believing that they are gay. It’s really just another curse word now to a lot of people.

          And there is no other evidence presented to show that they thought he was gay other than that single curse word.

      • He doesn’t look gay to me (what ever that means) so I don’t see how they could tell. As others said, it was probably just a general insult designed to shock a potential victim into inaction. If the attack took place outside of a club or a place where gay people gather then I would say the attack was motivated by anti-gay violence.

  2. I worry less about getting jumped as I do about getting run over by someone texting. But I do carry while riding. If I get hit, and live, should I push for new laws against distracted driving? How about sue the cell phone company for making a device that can be misused? Or the dealer that sold the device to someone so irresponsible?

    I’m just saying…

  3. An imaginary gun is effective against pretend tough guys, like the little pukes that jumped Jimmy LaSalvia. Real tough guys might require greater persuasion.

    Note to Jimmy: Start packing for real and join the Pink Pistols. Their motto is: Armed gays don’t get bashed.

      • The news story refers to “a group”, so I feel comfortable assuming at least three assailants. Had they pressed their attack and an armed would-be victim shot one or more of them are you saying it wouldn’t be a legitimate DGU? In your mind how severe a beating is a citizen obligated to tolerate before he’s allowed to defend himself?

        • What I think is you guys are often too flippant about using your right to self-defense. In this case the fact that the victim escaped withough having shot anyone indicates that a gun was not necessary and would have only added to the problem.

          When is defending yourself with a gun appropriate? Only when your life is reasonable thought to be in jeopardy. Many of you would draw the gun much sooner than that, and the rest of you would defend the action.

          That’s why I reject all claims of how many DGUs there are. Forget about Lott and Kleck, even the reasonable estimates include many that are not defensive at all but unnecessary aggressive actions, crimes even.

          But, not to you macho, don’t-tread-on-me, how-dare-you-get-in-my-way, kinda guys.

        • What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t prove is that the victim would not have been harmed had they not shown the firearm and persuaded the attacker that doing so was a bad idea.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t prove is that a judge and jury or police were there at the exact moment along with a team of psychiatrists and doctors with multiple mind reading or body reading devices to monitor the threat level perceived by the intended victim.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t disprove is that even criminals have the right to defend themselves.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t disprove is that DOJ Firearms use by Offenders reprot 2001 shows criminals only fired a firearm when used in a crime 15% of the time.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t disprove is that from police firearm discharge reports only 15% of the time is a shot fired when a firearm is involved in a police incident.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t prove is that defensive gun use by civilians is any different.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t prove is that either the police, criminals, or civilians hit their target more than 15% on average.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t prove is that the USDOJ National Victimization report 2008 showing an average of 4.8 mil violent crimes not reported, (75% more than were) is not a consistent average and involves many incidents where a firearms use was not reported.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike cant disprove is that based on those GOVERNMENT provided %, that…

          12,252 murders, 70k injuries in 2008 / 15% = times target hit = 1% of total shots fired x 100 = total shots fired in an criminal incident = 548,346.

          Then 548,346 / 15% = 1% of total incidents a firearm was used x 100 = total times a firearm used in a violent crime = 3,655,644

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t disprove is that the USDOJ National Gang Threat Assessment 2009 and prior showing that 80% of all violent crimes are committed by career criminals/gang members.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can’t disprove is that the same % of incidents apply to “police” recorded defensive gun uses leading to “justifiable homicides” as recorded in the FBI UCR database.

          What soothsayer el sucko mike can prove or disprove on this issue is NADA and we don’t care what his adled puddle of grey matter believes in its own insane world.

          So until soothsayer el sucko can disprove any of the facts and basic math provided above, his opinion on this matter being correct is identical to soothsayer el sucko mike caliming he can smell his own fart 5 miles upwind in a category 5 hurricane!

      • Yes, we would. Why wouldn’t you? I’m curious to know what, exactly, in the mikeb302000 world qualifies as a legitimate DGU. You could probably get RF to publish it, if you asked nicely 🙂

      • The only DGU Mike would consider correct was the recent SWAT team murder where the so called police shot the innocent homeowner over 70 times!

  4. I am living in DC for the summer, and I always feel uncomfortable when I commute by foot or the metro. I hate not being able to be armed to protect myself, and that is the only reason I need to never live here again.

    Pass a shall issue law and I probably would make it my home.

  5. The last time I rode a bike though town I was insulted numerus times for simply being on a bicylce, I was even given a disapproving head shake(and thumbs down) from a four year old girl.

    • When I was a road racer and wore the Full Lycra Monty and an aero helmet, people were not very friendly to me. Things have changed because I changed. Nowadays, I just ride in a basic helmet, I wear regular clothes and most importantly, I carry a big effin’ gun. You see, tucking a gun anywhere on one’s person while wearing Lycra is damn near impossible.

      In my experience, cyclists will get more respect with regular clothes and a gun then with regular clothes alone.

  6. Serious question: could this bit have been interpreted as “escalation”?

    as I regained my breath I screamed, “You!” and pointed at him.

    I suspect this falls into one of those “hope for the right prosecutor” areas.

  7. This and angry drivers is why I carry when I ride. It’s amazing how angry my spandex and road bike make people even when I ride within the law and safely. If able I highly advocate carrying when riding as people seek you as a target on a bike when you ride, reguardless of your sexual orientation. I wish this gentleman the best and safe cycling, a bike makes you a target.

  8. Todd AF Vet says: “Better not let Magoo know. He will want to outlaw imaginary guns.”

    Just so you are totally clear on this: you are trolling. Often, you guys can’t hear what you are saying, or see what you are doing. Well, you’re trolling. You = troll. No gray area in this instance. Sorry.

    Also, I’ve never endorsed or espoused outlawing guns, real or imaginary ones. Never happened. You made that up. In your head.

    • Once again you demonstrate your lack of a sense of humor. Your demonstrated inability to laugh at yourself when it’s appropriate shows that you are bore. If you don’t want to mistaken for Al Gore lighten up.

    • Sure, because trolling and stupid arguments are so gosh-darned hilarious, and you two are a pair of International raconteurs.

      Look, I don’t care if you troll constantly and debate like poorly-adjusted 11 year-olds. Knock yourselves out. It’s not that I expect you to change. I just wanted you to be aware of what you’re doing.

  9. Now that’s really funny. A member of the Armed Intelligentsia accusing one of their opponents of lacking a sense of humor. C’mon Brad, tell ’em how many times I yanked your chain and you responded in all seriousness only to have me point out I was joking.

    Magoo’s point about the trolling is nothing compared to the other fact he mentioned, that he (and I) are frequently accused of wanting to ban guns and other nonsense. Now, that’s not a matter of a sense of humor or not, that’s an arguing technique that’s quite unscrupulous. You guys often exaggerate what we say and then argue against the thing that YOU SAID, pretending it was what we said or meant.

    • MikeB302000: “All right, I was exaggerating. If you guys suddenly cooperated with the common sense gun control laws that we propose and we saw a tremendous decrease in gun violence, we would naturally want stricter laws in order to lower even more the remaining gun violence. Eventually, I and most of the others would conclude that no guns at all in civilian hands is the best way to go.

      Just sayin’.

  10. Okay, I’m having an online argument with a liberal friend of mine. He’s trying to say that “gun control laws do not affect law-abiding citizens. They affect criminals. Without gun control laws, that gang would have had guns, and the result would have been deadly.”

    I’m trying to tell him he’s being ridiculous, but he’s not listening. That the bicyclist should have been either open carrying so the BG can think twice before assaulting him or concealed carry. That the digging in the backpack is silly, and the bicyclist is DAMNED lucky to be alive.

    Thoughts? Comments? Pretty please?

    • Your lefty friend has this completely backwards. Big shock, I know. Criminals, by their very nature, tend not to care very much about laws. That’s kind of what makes them criminals.

      Law-abiding citizens tend to want to stay in that category. They have an aversion to the backs of police cars, large legal bills and time spent bunking with large tatoo’d dudes named Spike.

      Therefore, the law-abiders will comply with gun-control laws much more frequently than the guys who carry heaters with serial numbers that have been filed off. All of this, of course, means gun control laws result in more guns in the hands of bad guys, and fewer in the hands of good guys.

      So yes, if the cyclist had been open carrying, he probably wouldn’t have even been knocked off his bike to begin with. If he’d had an actual gun in his backpack, he wouldn’t have had to pray that the thugs who hit him didn’t call his bluff by pulling one of his own.

      • Which is pretty much what I was trying to tell him. He doesn’t want to listen. So I’m going for sarcasm next: he’s so much better informed than I am, in spite of the fact that I’ve been eating, sleeping, and studying this issue hard for some time now. That I am going to go right down and turn my guns and ammo in, and just hope that the cops are faster than the perps if and when I get attacked.

        • Just tell him it’s fine for him to rely on the cop that’s always a few minutes away when you really need him, but you choose to have the ability to protect yourself when it’s needed it most.

          Of course, that won’t cut much ice with him. He won’t be able to abide non-LEOs carrying guns. Under any circumstances. Far too much independence and lack of reliance on the .gov for his comfort, I’m sure.

  11. To those of you who think more fun control laws will help cut down crime please look up the “Mary Shepard Edition” here on TTAG and look at what happened after a 68 year old lady who is legally licensed to carry concealed in another state could not carry in Illinois and was attacked and beaten by a cowardly thug in a church!!!! She and the lady with her were robbed if $600 or so of church money!!!!
    Yes he was caught and convicted but….. If she had been
    Allowed to carry that horrendous beating more than likely would not have happened!!!!
    Anyone who can look at that photo and still rant and rave about more gun control laws and how we don’t need concealed or open carry laws needs to have the same treatment Mrs Shepard got applied to them and then see how they feel about their views on fun control!!!!

  12. To those of you who think more fun control laws will help cut down crime please look up the “Mary Shepard Edition” here on TTAG and look at what happened after a 68 year old lady who is legally licensed to carry concealed in another state could not carry in Illinois and was attacked and beaten by a cowardly thug in a church!!!! She and the lady with her were robbed if $600 or so of church money!!!!
    Yes he was caught and convicted but….. If she had been
    Allowed to carry that horrendous beating more than likely would not have happened!!!!
    Anyone who can look at that photo and still rant and rave about more gun control laws and how we don’t need concealed or open carry laws needs to have the same treatment Mrs Shepard got applied to them and then see how they feel about their views on gun control!!!! It might even get thru their thick heads the real reason so many people carry a firearm!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *